San Miguel Corp. has agreed to sell its dairy product and soft drink unit in Australia to Kirin Holdings Co.

San Miguel said today (8 November) that it has reached an agreement with the Tokyo-based beer and beverage maker, in which it has a 20% stake, to sell National Foods for A$2.8bn (US$2.6bn).

Next month, Kirin is set to acquire all National Food shares from San Miguel, making it a "consolidated subsidiary", the company said.

San Miguel acquired National Foods in 2005 for A$1.9bn and has since consolidated Australian juice company Berri, cheese producer Lactos and Malaysian ice cream company Kings Creameries into the unit.

The sale of National Foods also coincides with San Miguel's divestment of Australian brewer J. Boag & Son, while earlier in the year the company announced plans to restructure its core businesses in the Philippines with the recent spin-off of its domestic beer operations.

San Miguel president and COO Ramon Ang said: "We believe growth and returns can be increased through continued focus and investment on San Miguel's advantaged core businesses.

"Therefore, following a strategic review of our Australian portfolio, we have decided it would be in the best interests of our shareholders to look into the sale of the business," Ang added.